Respite for our soul

We have been experiencing a record-breaking heat wave here in the Northeastern region of the US.  It has been oppressive, to say the least, and from what I hear on the news this humid weather will be continuing over the next few days.


Last night a storm blew through with thunder, rain, and a nice breeze, cooling things off a bit.  I was able to open our windows on our enclosed front porch and sit there for a while, soaking in the refreshing coolness and reprieve from the hot, humid weather.

I am not used to being shut up inside with AC, but it does help to survive these warmer temperatures where being outside felt more like 110 degrees.  It’s the humidity that makes our warmer climate more difficult to function in.

Speaking of reprieve from the humidity, I can remember visiting Malibu, CA where the weather was a balmy 90 degrees or higher, where a nice steady breeze could be felt from the nearness to the ocean and the weather did not have the heavy weight of humidity that we have here in Upstate NY, USA.

The difference was noticeable.  What I loved about Malibu, was the sun could be seen almost daily and the weather was pleasurable to walk around in and I thrived in participating in the many activities this region of our country offered to me.

I especially appreciated and delighted in the ocean.  I can remember sitting on my blanket viewing the rise and fall of the waves as they ushered me into their rhythm, a steady crashing to the shoreline.  There was a majestic sensed wellness in being there in the salt air, seagulls flapping their wings, lighting upon the earth, scarfing down some goodies found in the sand, watching as others jumped and played in the rise and fall of the waves.

I found this a conducive environment to write in and my thoughts would spill out in rhythms of its own, in words telling stories of my journey here on earth.  The nearness to the Ocean brought out a feeling of renewal in an ever expansive awareness of my inner souls’ expression.

I often felt as if a door opened within my thoughts and they rushed out into sentences, the written language of my experiences being formed into tales on the pages of my journal, wanting to be heard, stories of my own life needing to be told, as I felt intimately connected to God and myself in this place.

The vast unlimited reserve of the Ocean waters is likened to the deep well of resources we can dig into with our own minds.  We can be mindful of those places that cause us to remember those feelings of pure joy, those moments of simply being present with ourselves, bathing in fond visions that help build an inner realm of sanctuary, safe places where we can just be who we were created to be, in a place of reserved rest.

I can vividly picture in my mind even now, the warmth of the sun, the miles of sand, men, woman and children who gathered in this place to dip themselves in the waters, which were rather warm themselves, and I and recall the sense of feeling interconnected with those humans who also took pleasure in Ocean spaces, coming to find peace in those spaces of relaxation.

Studies have shown there is a strong connection with an inner sensed well-being and wholeness when near water.   There is a wellness that saturates our beings when we take opportunities to participate in the brief respite life offers to us.

We can often feel this sense of wellness entering every cell, vessel, organ, coursing through our blood supply, and the feelings of being intertwined in a depth of spirituality with our creator God in these spaces, where we can just be ourselves.

Entering into the sacredness of living becomes a known reality in our lives when we stop and create these places of resting from all activities.

Whether we are near the Ocean, walking on trails or hiking in wilderness, viewing the spectacular rushing of waterfalls, sitting in a park, gathering around campfires in reflecting on one’s path, or finding a space in our own home, we can all take these times of opportunity in closing ourselves off from the rushing hectic pace this life often brings to our doorsteps.

The necessity in maintaining our mental and physical health can vary greatly in whether we offer ourselves these opportunities to stop the cycle of business in learning to rest, to take into our thoughts, minds, and souls the pleasures and joys that come to us when we create these spaces to intentionally find these places that will help give our bodies the type of contemplative pauses necessary for our bodies.

We discover a hushed stillness where we become refreshed, renewed and energized in the continuing in our journey walking upon this earth.

green grass during sunset
Photo by Nathan Cowley on

As humans, we are body, mind, and soul.  When we take measures in the care of our whole beings, we find the interconnection is not only in how we choose to live, but who we surround ourselves within our inner circle of persons, can either improve who we are as persons or hinder who we are as persons.

Take time today to reflect and evaluate your lifestyle and ask yourselves the following questions in evaluating your own sense of wellness and health.

  1. How can I create opportunities to take breaks from my life?
  2. Where can I go to reflect, pause and enter into the solace found in taking breaks from my regular schedule? (city parks, near woods, creeks, libraries, churches)
  3. What do I need to do in order to purposefully and intentionally create these spaces of respite for my body to become renewed?

Here are some ideas to help you create spaces of undisturbed alone time:

  1. Take regular technology respites:  Turn off phones, TV’s, radio, and all other social media forms.
  2. Learn to say ‘No’ to the many requests upon you to ‘help’ others – making sure you have an appropriate number of persons you are capable and able to serve as to not overdo.
  3. Get up a bit earlier to have time for yourself in the mornings, or take an opportunity to be alone during lunch breaks, or create a regular alone time in the evenings.
  4. Pause when you have breaks from work, meditating on scripture, or thinking about something that causes you to feel good about yourself.
  5. Walking in your own neighborhood, being mindful of the sound of birds chirping, the connection you can feel with greeting those you pass, the simple act of smiling at those you see on your walk can make an improved difference in your sense of well-being.
  6. Discover places in your community that offer quiet spaces; churches, synagogues, mosques, or other such places.
  7. Search out those activities in your own area; hiking trails, sources of water, nature centers, or even museums can offer you alone time.
  8. Create a space in your home, a room, your cellar, where you close off everyone and everything; play soft music, close your eyes and think of the goodness in your life, picture meadows, flowers, or those places that bring remembered joy to you, and reflect on those feelings of pleasure.


We are all in this journey together as human beings and we all have the necessary need to give our minds and bodies these times of respite, these times where we can be alone to recharge, to renew and to refresh our souls.

Take a bit of time today and reflect on whether you are creating these alone times your mind, body, and soul require in order for you to maintain a sense of wholeness, where you can feel peace, where you feel a well of joy rising in you, as we all need these spaces in order to have the restoration necessary in maintaining our health and wellness.

We often discover meaning, purpose, and direction for our lives when we quiet our thoughts, when we still our pace, and when we are able to reflectively, become present with our inner realm.

When we allow ourselves to receive the sweet fragrance of nourishing love from our creator God, saturating our entire beings in the intimacy known in nature and all the beauty found in those places He created for our pleasure, we find, our life is all about being present wherever we are, walking in an authentic openness before God and before ourselves, no longer finding it necessary to hide behind a facade of pretense.

Tell us where it is you find these places in your own community in the ‘Penny for your thoughts’ section at the end of this post.  We could all use ideas and suggestions in where to go or in how to find these places!


Living Intentionally




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